Interview | Bühne | Toby Gough: The Bar at Buena Vista
›Social Club‹ ist der Name eines kulturellen Zentrums in Buena Vista, einem Stadtteil in Havanna. Ob Rumba, Salsa oder Cha-Cha-Cha – die Tänze verändern sich so schnell wie die Stimmungen der Menschen. Theaterregisseur Toby Gough spricht über seine Show ›The Bar at Buena Vista‹, die uns mit spannenden und humorvollen Geschichten von Liebe, Eifersucht und Versöhnung im Kuba der 40er und 50er Jahre unterhält. ANNA NOAH freut sich darauf, herauszufinden, was das Publikum erwarten kann.
Die Welt ist Toby Goughs Zuhause
Theaterregisseur, Produzent und Autor Toby Gough wurde in Afrika geboren, wuchs jedoch in Schottland auf. Seine Shows werden auf der ganzen Welt gespielt. Die aufwändigen Produktionen umfassen Musiker aus Kuba, Brasilien, Irland, Rumänien, Simbabwe, Malawi, Indien, Kambodscha und vielen anderen. Dazu zählen auch bekannte Gesichter, wie Kylie Minogue, mit der er in ›The Caribbean Tempest‹ arbeitete.
Seine Arbeiten wurden bereits fünf Mal mit dem ›Scotsman First Prize Award‹ ausgezeichnet.
Heute teilt er mit mir seine Gedanken zu seinem kommenden Show-Highlight ›The Bar at Buena Vista‹.
»The lifeblood of Cuba«
When Germans hear Cuba they usually think of cigars, music and Rum. What does Cuba mean to you personally?
Cigars Music and Rum are without doubt the lifeblood of Cuba. In those three items you understand the history of the island and the intoxicating powers that Cuba possesses.
Perfect partners, a Cuban cigar, Havana club rum, listening to the music of Sin, Mambo, Cha ChaCha, and Salsa.The mixture of Spanish and African rhythms with American Jazz created so much incredible music. Its unique geographical location made it the Las Vegas of the Caribbean in the golden age of Cuban music. Because of the history of the Island, the people have an infectious ability to live every moment to the full and to find happiness in every moment.
But Cuba is much more than this to me, as I have spent 20 years of my life, meeting incredible artists. Cuba is my life, my passion, and now, with the birth of my Cuban son, my family. They are survivors against all adversity, and people who defend their culture and their values with all their heart.
›Buena Vista‹ shows us the spirit of Cuba in the 1940s and 1950s. In recent years, Cuba has changed. How did you experience the change?
Since Raúl Castro became President of Cuba life has become a little easier for the Cubans. Private enterprise, mobile phones, access to internet, freedom to travel, has all made a significant difference to the people. But the embargo remains in place.
During the last year of Barack Obamas presidency, there was new hope. The Rolling Stones, The Chanel fashion show, Hollywood moved in to film ›Fast and Furious‹, restaurants and bars were full again and new business for the Cuban people was booming. Then came Donald Trump and the wall was raised again. Havana is quieter now than ever before.
The people still dream of Cuba in the Forties and Fifties, when the borders were open and there was a great friendship between American and Cuban musicians, free trade and anything was possible.
What will the future hold for Cuba?
Whatever the future holds for Cuba, the past will always remain, a remarkable history, the most exquisite music and dance the world has ever known, and stories of incredible people who have lived remarkable lives.
What is your tip for our readers who want to visit Cuba?
Go now! Travel the island and love every moment. Call me and I’ll organize your experiences and show you my Havana. And take sun cream.
How long have you known the artists (how did you find them?) – and for how long are you on stage together?
Some artists I’ve known longer than others. The cast is a range from 21 years to 90 years old. After seeing the movie ›Buena Vista Social Club‹, there were many questions left unanswered. Where exactly was this mythical musical members club? Who were the dancers? Were any of them still alive?
I tracked down the original barman of the social club and it was him who introduced me to all the remarkable artists of that forgotten generation. We created the show, and the more we toured, the more forgotten legends, came out of the shadows. Now our show presents the jewels that the movie never found. From the land that time forgot.
What’s your favorite title or dance in the show? What do you associate with it?
I love to watch Aspirina, the king of the rumba, 88 years old, dance with the three beautiful female dancers in the show. This is a dance that expresses the true spirit of Cuba.
It is also great to watch Eric Turro, the Guinness record holder for the fastest dancer in the world. I also love to watch the way the audience respond to Mazacote, the king of the bolero, 90 years old, many people in the audience are crying because of the power of emotions in his voice at his age.
What sort of emotions causes the show?
Amazement, romance, laughter, excitement, wonder and a sense of privilege that this is the last time you are witnessing this very special spirit from an age that has almost become extinct. This is living history, national treasures and you feel very special being amongst this audience. You don’t feel tired from standing up to give so many standing ovations and dancing in the isles to this incredible music, you feel rejuvenated, refreshed and twenty years younger. The show has the secret of eternal youth. And love. The love for the audience bursts forth from the performers for their audience, and the audience give back their love in return.
What else would you like to share with our readers?
I would like to share with them the experience that I had when I first arrived in Cuba, the magic of one night in a beautiful bar, some delicious cocktails, incredible music and making new friends. I want to share above all this, come to the show and you will leave having had a journey to the heart of Cuban music with new Cuban friends.
Mit ganzem Herzen in Kuba
Toby Gough reist mit seinen Musikern durch die Welt und lässt die Zuschauer in ›The Bar at Buena Vista‹ teilhaben; auf der Suche nach den Geheimnissen des ewigen Lebens, an den Geschichten der Bandmitglieder und am Lebensgefühl einer Inselnation, die einen ganz eigenen Rhythmus kreiert hat – mitsamt all seiner strahlenden und auch dunklen Facetten.
| ANNA NOAH
| TITELFOTO: CHRISTIAN KLEINER
Tickets für ›The Bar at Buena Vista‹ erhalten Sie hier
The Bar at Buena Vista
The Grandfathers of Cuban Music
11.03. Essen, Colosseum Theater; 12.03. Dresden, Kulturpalast
14.03. Hannover, Theater am Aegi; 15.03. Bielefeld, Oetker-Halle
16.03. Frankfurt, Alte Oper; 17.03. Mannheim, Rosengarten
18.03. Iserlohn, Parktheater; 19.03.+26.03. Berlin, Friedrichstadt-Palast
20.03.-21.03. Leipzig, Gewandhaus; 23.03.-24.03. Dortmund, Konzerthaus
25.03. Bremen, Glocke; 27.–28.03. Hamburg, Laeiszhalle
29.03.+31.03. Stuttgart, Liederhalle; 01.04.–04.04. Köln, Philharmonie
02.04. München, Gasteig; 06.04. Düsseldorf, Tonhalle
07.04. Baden-Baden, Festspielhaus; 08.04. Rust, Europa-Park Arena
10.04.–15.04. Zürich, Halle 622